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IndyCar’s Hawksworth visits Iowa corn farm, learns about ethanol

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 10:41 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, June 27, 2014 11:42 a.m. CST
(Iowa Speedway photo)
IndyCar rookie driver Jack Hawksworth (second from right) visited the family farm of Kyle Phillips (far right) Tuesday near Knoxville to promote Iowa’s corn base for ethanol fuel production and the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Iowa Corn 300 sponsored by Iowa Corn July 12 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Also pictured are (from left) Rager Phillips, Sawyer Phillips and Sue Phillips. The farm tour was sponsored by Iowa Corn and Iowa Speedway.

Discovering the fuel spark which powers his Bryan Herta Autosport Dallara racecar, IndyCar Series rookie Jack Hawksworth made a visit to an Iowa farm Tuesday. The event was sponsored by Iowa Corn and Iowa Speedway as a lead-in to the July 12 Verizon IndyCar Iowa Corn 300 at the Newton race track.

“I’m looking forward to this visit,” Hawksworth told the Daily News in a Tuesday morning telephone interview. “It’s interesting to find out about ethanol — it’s the fuel that powers my car. Corn is the spark and the farm is where it all starts.”

The Bradford, England native went to the third-generation family farm of Kyle Phillips Tuesday afternoon near Knoxville. They toured the farm and discussed the production of Iowan-made ethanol.

The Verizon IndyCar Series is the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States. The series features open-wheel, single-seat, open-cockpit cars with front and rear wings. The 500-700 horsepower Verizon IndyCar Series cars feature a 2.2-liter, turbocharged, direct injected V-6 engine optimized to run 12,000 RPM and are powered by E85 fuel.

“I really love Iowa Speedway. Yes, I had a really good run there a year ago in the IndyL Lights Series, but not as good the year before in the Mazada Star Series,” Hawksworth said. “The oval track is one of the shortest tracks we run and it makes for some great racing.”

Hawksworth, a Sunocco Rookie of the Year candidate, is having a strong season in the IndyCar Series. He is 16th going into this weekend’s double race at Houston and is third among rookies on the circuit.

In the 2013 Indy Lights Sukup 100 at Iowa, Hawksworth finished third and led 48 laps in the race. Hawksworth dominated the 2012 Star Mazda Series, but his run at Iowa that season ended in an accident.

Hawksworth joined Bryan Herta Autosport in 2014 to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He will make his third run at Iowa Speedway July 12 in the Iowa Corn 300 sponsored by Iowa Corn and presented by DEKALB.

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